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A crisis, detours, and writing careers… ack.


Hey Writing Etc. Subscriber,

As you may have noticed, it’s been a while since I released a new Writing Etc. If you recall, this past year, I’ve been dealing with cancer. Yes, my cancerversary tests came back very encouraging. That news still stands. What I didn’t share was that as my tests were coming in strong, my dad was conducting his own cancer screening and his numbers were yielding discouraging results.

So, while I was getting scanned, poked, and prodded, so was he. To make a long story short, he had 1/3 of his right lung removed and is just now making the big decision as to whether he’ll undergo chemo.

Which brings me to my point: Nothing’s permanent. Seriously, it’s not.

I spent countless hours building a writing career. I’ve worked with Filbert Publishing since ’01. Writing Etc. has been my treasured baby since moment one.

And yet, through all these health stuff, I’ve somehow managed to neglect both… and with the ghost of cancer haunting my office, there are days I’m not sure about the future of my endeavors.

That’s OK, I suppose. But, as I survey the current state of publishing, the evolving reality of Internet copywriting, and ponder my place in it all, I’ve discovered I’m almost relieved that I have the opportunity to, in many regards, begin from scratch.

But, as always, an interesting thread developed through this past year. Right before my diagnosis, I had just accepted a new book, the first in a long time, but this one is particularly interesting in light of the circumstances.

The subject? Life detours.

Boy, oh boy, did that project experience detours. First we had cancer delays, then basically everything that could go wrong did. But the author, Lo Silverman, had the patience of a saint, hung in there, and took every curve ball with her trademark sense of humor.

It’s not often I meet an author who so thoroughly walks her talk.

To use Lois’ own words, this is what I take away from this past year:

Life, as most of us seasoned veterans know it, does not usually follow paths we envisioned and to be perfectly honest … we would probably be bored if it did. Well … I would not be bored being a stunning size 6 but that is another story … for later.

Yes, perfection really isn’t perfect. And life is filled to the brim with detours. The issue is not to avoid any of those detours. That’s impossible. And besides, some of them will be awesome. We’re going to be sent on detours whether we want them or not.

The key to success is realizing that it’s how we handle those detours, and in our attitudes as we embark on them. There’s no reason to automatically assume they will be your undoing. If you embark on these unplanned trips with a suitcase filled with a good attitude, a great work ethic and your sense of humor intact …. you may just find that your best destinations are waiting ahead of you, at the end of the detour.

This is not to say you won’t have to slog through some muck along your route. Muck happens. But rainbows happen also.

Life is a giant adventure. It’s a constant work in progress and a complex series of detours, some good and some not-so-good, that you must learn to navigate.

So what does this all mean? Filbert Publishing won’t change much. I enjoy publishing books. However, my personal website, will undergo a fundamental shift in the coming days, as will my writing career… which, in fact, will affect Writing Etc.

But, I think you’ll like it.

Here’s to a great year.

Beth 🙂

P.S. Lo’s book just went live. If you’re facing a detour, definitely check it out.


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